The True Keeps Calm Biding Its Story

Rusty Morrison, Author . Ahsahta $17.50 (88p) ISBN 978-0-916272-98-2

In the nine groups of six poems, all titled “please advise stop,” that form Morrison’s remarkable Sawtooth Poetry Prize–winning second volume, the now-archaic yet ever-mechanical language of the telegram is used to plumb the vicissitudes of grief and grapple with the death of the speaker’s father. Each line of these unpunctuated, nine-line poems ends with “stop,” “please” or “please advise,” appealing to some ghostly reader for assistance. The rhythm and torque Morrison (Whethering ) creates is exquisite and evocative. Often dark and aphoristic, these lines shift between momentary observation (“the water puddle sways like an earthbound kite stop”), pained seeking (“night might still be floating somewhere above us its blood supple and aromatic stop”) and near action, perhaps in the hope of relief (“I stare until I consider the scene truly acknowledged stop”); always, anguish is an instrument for change. Most haunting are the poems’ final, pleading words: “into the dark trees invite the darker birds please advise.” Morrison’s vamp on grief not only draws readers’ attention to the tenuous capacity of language to manage loss, but also leaves the reader moved by what comes to feel like an intensely intimate work. (Jan.)

Reviewed on: 01/21/2008
Release date: 01/01/2008
Show other formats
FORMATS
X
Stay ahead with
Tip Sheet!
Free newsletter: the hottest new books, features and more
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Only $18.95/month for Digital Access
or $20.95 for Print+Digital Access!
X
Email Address

Password

Log In Lost Password

PW has integrated its print and digital subscriptions, offering exciting new benefits to subscribers, who are now entitled to both the print edition and the digital editions of PW (online or via our app). For instructions on how to set up your accout for digital access, click here. For more information, click here.

The part of the site you are trying to access is now available to subscribers only. Subscribers: to set up your digital subscription with the new system (if you have not done so already), click here. To subscribe, click here.

Email pw@pubservice.com with questions.

Not Registered? Click here.